April 1, 2018
Opening Prayer / Invocation
People: Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever.
Call and Response based on 1 Chronicles 29:10-13
Officiant: Blessed are you, God of Israel, our father from of old and forever.
People: To you, O God, belong the greatness and the might, the glory, the victory, the majesty, the splendor;
O: Yes! Everything in heaven, everything on earth; the kingdom all yours!
P: You’ve raised yourself high over all.
O: Riches and glory come from you, you are ruler over all;
P: You hold strength and power in the palm of your hand to build up and strengthen all.
Please pray with me.
O: God of Grace, who am I, and who are we, that we should presume to be giving something to you? Everything comes from you; all we’re doing is giving back what we’ve been given from your generous hand. As far as you’re concerned, we’re homeless, shiftless wanderers, our lives mere shadows, hardly anything to us. God, our God, all these materials—these piles of stuff for building a house of worship for you, honoring your Holy Name—it all came from you! It was all yours in the first place! I know, dear God, that you care nothing for the surface—you want us, our true selves—and so I have given from the heart, honestly and happily. And now see all of us doing the same, giving freely, willingly! O God, God of our fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, keep this generous spirit alive forever in us always, keep our hearts set firmly in you.
P: Alleluia. The Lord is risen indeed: O come, let us adore him. Alleluia.
Prayer out of Communion
O: Almighty God of Grace, who for our redemption gave your only Son to the death of the cross, and by his glorious resurrection delivered us from the power of our enemy.
P: Alleluia. Christ is risen. The Lord is risen indeed.
O: Grant us so to die daily to sin, that we may evermore live with you in the joy of your resurrection and encounter your grace daily; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
P: Praise be to God. Amen.
May God bless you with discomfort at easy answers, hard hearts, half-truths, and superficial relationships so that you may seek truth boldly and live from deep within your heart where God’s Spirit dwells.
May God bless you with anger: at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, so that we may work for justice, freedom, and peace.
May God bless you with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation, and war, so that we may reach out our hand in comfort and turn their pain into joy.
May God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that through Jesus Christ we’ll have the strength and power necessary to create change in this world and in our neighborhood, so that together we will courageously try what others claim cannot be done.
May God bless you with remembrance that we are called to continue God’s redemptive work of love and healing in God’s place, in and through God’s name, in God’s Spirit, continually creating and breathing new life and grace into everything and everyone we touch. Amen